Scotland’s first biomethane refuelling station promises low-carbon HGV deliveries

Renewable energy firm CNG Fuels has started building Scotland’s first public access renewable biomethane HGV refuelling station, which it says will allow fleet operators to run their vehicles on low-carbon fuel, support net zero plans and save money, the company announced today.

The station near Glasgow is anticipated to refuel up to 450 lorries a day when it opens in November, enabling HGVs to make low-carbon deliveries across most of Scotland. Most of England and Wales is already within a 300-mile round trip of a biomethane refuelling station and the new facility will put Inverness and Aberdeen within this range.

Warburtons, the UK’s largest bakery brand, is the latest major name to announce it is adopting biomethane, following companies such as Hermes, John Lewis, Waitrose and Asda. Renewable biomethane, is the lowest carbon, most cost-effective alternative to diesel for HGVs — it is 35%-40% cheaper and cuts vehicle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85%. From next year CNG Fuels will dispense fully carbon neutral fuel by sourcing biomethane from manure.

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels, said, “Fleet operators keen to cut carbon and save money are switching to biomethane in droves, and our first station in Scotland will play a vital part in our network, allowing gas trucks to make deliveries throughout Britain. Biomethane can play a key role in helping the country meet its net zero targets and it is fitting that the station will open just as Glasgow hosts the UN Climate Summit.”

Data shows HGVs account for 4.5% of total UK greenhouse gases, and 4.8% in Scotland – and experts say decarbonising the sector is essential to meet the UK’s goal of achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050. Bio-CNG (compressed natural gas) is the leading commercially available solution at scale to reduce these emissions. 

The new station, at the Eurocentral industrial estate off the M8 near Bellshill, is due to open in November. CNG Fuels customers with depots on or close to the estate include Warburtons and parcel delivery company Hermes, which already runs 90 gas trucks. 

Steven Gray, Warburtons National Transport Manager, explained, “After extensive alternative-fuel vehicle trials, Warburtons has chosen CNG technology, and specifically biomethane fuel, as our preferred strategy to decarbonise our Primary HGV fleet. CNG Fuels’ progressive Bio-CNG Station roll-out plans across the UK will allow us to begin our decarbonisation strategy and the Eurocentral refuelling facility is a key location for our fleet.”

David Landy, Head of Fleet at Hermes, commented, “As one of the UK’s largest CNG vehicle operators, the announcement of a Bio-CNG Station in Scotland is welcome news for Hermes. This will allow us to run our Scottish-based fleet on 100% renewable biomethane fuel and push the range of our existing CNG-powered HGV fleet, so vehicles can travel between England and Scotland and take even more emissions off UK roads.”

CNG Fuels is the UK’s leading supplier of Bio-CNG and it has enabled fleet operators to cut emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes since it began dispensing the fuel in September 2016. Demand from customers is soaring and the company expects to sell 90% more biomethane this month than in March 2020. 

It currently operates six refuelling stations in England and is rapidly building out a strategic network on major routes. Eurocentral is the first of 14 further stations that are due to be built over the next two years with £80 million of funding from a new partnership with Foresight Group, including two more in Scotland near Larkhall and Livingston.

100% of the fuel supplied by CNG Fuels is renewable and sustainable biomethane, approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme. It is delivered to stations via the existing gas grid where it is compressed into fuel. Low processing, transportation and electricity costs make it a low-cost, clean solution.

Bio-CNG is currently sourced from food waste but CNG Fuels is securing supplies of gas derived from manure to create a fuel that will be carbon neutral overall.  It expects to introduce carbon neutral biomethane across from 2022 at the same price.

Manure gives off methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. CNG says that by using methane as an HGV fuel prevents it from going into the atmosphere and reduces overall emissions. The EU’s revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) recognises biomethane from manure as a carbon negative fuel, and the UK is expected to adopt the same rules in 2022.

(Picture shows CNG’s Warrington site as an example of what the new site will resemble, credit – Greenhouse PR)


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